I am spending an increasing amount of free time reading. There are 3 primary reasons for this: 1 to research developments in startup funding (industry news), improve my managerial and technical skill set (self-development) and to take the edge off and relax myself (casual reading).
We work in an über competitive industry thus I must remian up-to date. I found a couple of helpful ways to do that routinely:
- Subscribe to Mattermark newsletter. They send daily updates on trending blogs and articles in the tech field.
- Using Feedly I subscribed to notable blogs written by VC and angel investors and tech entrepreneurs
- I set up my Chrome starting pages to auto-open my favorite tech news sites including the usual suspects like TechCrunch, Pulso etc.
- Subscribe to Startup Digest to receive local news written by local startupers from 10 countries relevant to me
- Subscribe to country leading newsletter such as Startup Britain and Startup Daily from Israel etc
- Subscribed Launch Ticker from Launch Festival creator Jason Calacanis
The movie Startup Kids could not have expressed it better,
“Everything you are doing is something you are just barely qualified for or not qualified for at all”.
That is why I continuously learn things to improve my technical and business development skill set and skill set as manager and leader. Reading about experiences and teachings of other more experienced entrepreneurs and investors is really helpful. To do that I find Mattermark and Feedly from above very helpful. Biographies about notable leaders and books on management such as Founders Dilemma are really helpful. Lastly, doing google searches on specific topics currently of importance is great as well. For instance, in the last year I focused a lot on the intricacies of employee stock options, advisor stock options, hiring and firing, KPIs and measurement of business development efforts, the terms in the sale of shares and convertible notes and business development (sales process and marketing).
Working on a startup is stressful as generally we are understaffed, face intense competition and outlook is constantly uncertain…Some say and I agree: it’s a bit like jumping off a cliff and assembling the parachute on the way. The point being, its difficult to wind down and have a good night sleep. Thus I returned to reading non technical / non business books.
As I spend 16 hours a day in front of a screen I am unable to pick up book and read it. The eyes refuse. Thus casual reading has suffered until I discovered Audible, which introduced me to the world of audio books. Now i tear through 1 book every 1-2 weeks. Recent books were: Steve Jobs, Killing Kennedy, 100 Years of Solitude.